Filming in Theatres

Jade Saunders (@jade40094269) writing for MTAS

Filming in theatres… a complete no go right?

Well, personally I can’t decide! I am eternally grateful for all those bootlegs floating around on YouTube, I mean how else would I get to hear Anna O’Byrne in Phantom or see Kerry Ellis on Broadway. Or even reliving some old moments such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2002 at the Palladium…

So from that point of view I am happy people occasionally break the rules and film or record the audio. It means people like me get the opportunity to see or hear things they may never have had a chance to hear. In a way it can actually open other peoples eyes to Theatre and get them into shows they may have never found an interest in otherwise!

But then there is the other side, the actors and audience perspective. I have personally had the experience of a young lady a row in front of me filming while I was seeing Phantom of the Opera. After a quick glare she soon stopped 🙂 But it did make me think, if more shows were professionally filmed and released maybe, just maybe people would be less likely to record during shows.

Now I understand there is a huge cost in filming productions but just think about how amazing it would be if, maybe even for a limited time, people could see some of their favourite casts in action.

Take something like Cats. The revival in 2014 was amazing! Nicole and Kerry took on the role of Griz. Now as far as I am aware the only professional recording of Cats was back in the day when the film was made with Elaine Paige. All due respect to Elaine, but wouldn’t it be nice if we had our hands on a newer version?

Take Sunset Boulevard and Starlight Express, old classics that have disappeared….all we have are soundtracks. Personally I would love to see Starlight revived and filmed.
cameraintheatreNow I do understand some of the big shows are filmed for anniversary shows, take Les Miserables, 10th and 25th anniversary recordings! Phantom 25th Recording, Miss Saigon 25th Recording….

All are available for us to watch and relive over and over again. Younger generations can be introduced to such old classics… Now from the perspective of being able to see new versions and cherish experiences I understand recordings. Personally I would never film in the theatre, but that is my opinion.

When I went to see Phantom I was more than a little miffed that the woman in front of me was filming. She soon stopped and that was that. Once I had someone next to me playing Candy Crush all the way through Act 1 of Les Miserables….. But I do know how distracting it is having a phone waving about near you just so someone can get some hits on YouTube.
Now the Audience can’t always see if anyone is filming but there are people who can… THE ACTORS!!

Those people on stage who perform night after night, 8 shows a week. They can see. Out there in the darkness they can see the light of a phone, the reflection of the stage lighting off the logo on the back. They can see everything and it is so distracting for them!!!
I am always seeing interval tweets or post-show tweets from actors saying that yet again they have had a camera on them all night. It is distracting for them!  And the Audience!!

Long story short, don’t film in theatres…..period…..
Yes I watch bootlegs and will not deny that but, don’t film in theatres people. It does ruin the show for not only the audience but the actors too.

What do you think? Do you agree with Jade?
Let us know in the comments below or tweet @MTAS_Official & The Author!

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